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Refreshing was supporting, nurturing, pitying, protecting, and healing.
Qi Refreshing meant going through the procedures above for the essence that was absorbed from the aura of the heaven and earth.
Following the book, Ning Que immersed himself in a meditation that was not as deep as normal, which enabled him to keep some connection with the real world.
That connection was breathing, or in other words, inhaling and exhaling.
The air in the cliff cave went into his lungs following the rhythm of his breathing and then returned to the outside through his mouth and nose. The Qi of Heaven and Earth settled down little by little and began to nourish every part of his body, even the smallest parts.
Every time that Nig Que breathed, he could feel every trace of the Qi of Heaven and Earth coming inside his body. It was subtle in the beginning, but it became clearer as he began to breathe rhythmically. He could even perceive that its quant.i.ty was increasing.
After inheriting the legacy of his Youngest Uncle in the Front Gate of Devil's Doctrine, he had been having trouble transforming the Qi of Heaven and Earth to the Great Spirit for a long time. Now, he had finally discovered a way to cultivate the Great Spirit like he wanted. And he had antic.i.p.ated becoming stronger as it was controllable. His initial shock turned to happiness for that was a pleasant surprise.
The deep night was coming to an end as the sun began to rise. Inside the cave, Sangsang was sleeping in the corner, while Ning Que was sitting cross-legged, inhaling and exhaling with a strong intention.
He felt the Qi of Heaven and Earth rushing into his body like an alcoholic would feel while drinking bottle after bottle of hot wine. He was so satisfied and drunk that he had no idea where he was or where he would be going.
Under the dim light of dawn, the airflow in the cliff cave brought in a cool mountain breeze that blew over Sangsang. As she was woken up from her dream, she rubbed her eyes.
She looked at Ning Que beside her with a confused expression.
As the Qi of Heaven and Earth rushed into his body, Ning Que had the Great Spirit inside of him increasing at a slow, but unstoppable rate. Therefore, some changes were happening to his body.
The changes were hidden deeply beneath his skin, muscles, blood, and flesh. No one could notice with their own eyes aside from Ning Que himself.
Sangsang, however, could. She knew that something was happening to Ning Que.
Because she discovered that something faint, even fainter than the wind, was attracted to Ning Que's body in this cave. The morning fog seemed to be summoned into the cave to envelop him as well.
After a long time, Ning Que finally woke up.
He stared at the blue sky outside the cave and thought quietly.
The Qi of Heaven and Earth was everywhere. It was among the mountains, the cliffs, the clouds, the trees, the lakes, and the fish as well. In that way, the Qi that people cultivated with was still the Qi of Heaven and Earth. Therefore, were there any essential differences between the Genuine Qi of the Haotian Divine Light and that in the bodies of those in the Devil's Doctrine?
The Origin on the Primordial Qi of Nature was about this theory. It tried to solve the cultivators' doubts theoretically and build a unified system. The completely new system would pull down the foundation of the Haotian Taoism doctrines. That was why it was banned by the West-Hill Divine Palace.
But, the other book told Ning Que to ignore the way that the Qi of Heaven and Earth transformed. It was just the same as water in nature. No matter if the water was on a cliff, among the clouds, in the streams, in a peaceful lake, or in the rushing river, the essence of the water was unchanged and it was still water.
The two books had some connection theoretically. But the Origin on the Primordial Qi of Nature dropped the discussion about the forms and went down to the ultimate way of cultivating a certain specific Qi of Heaven and Earth because all the ultimate ways led to the essence of nature.
The Headmaster of the Academy brought a difficult question to Ning Que when he kept him in the cave, and he also put three answers in front of him. The theories in those two books were two of them.
He could possibly cultivate the Great Spirit to an abundant realm where he could ignore heaven and earth, or he could possibly make the Great Spirit in his body be in harmony with the Qi of Heaven and Earth by using his own no-boundary spirit.
Chen Pipi had told him that there were three books. But now, there were only two here. So, what was the third one? And what could he discover from reading it?
In the following days, Ning Que felt as if he had gone back to the early days when he was in the old library. He lived a peaceful and simple life. He ate, slept, read, and thought, and then repeated it, all very attentively. He spent all his dreary time and boring life on reading.
With the help of those two books, Ning Que controlled the Great Spirit skillfully and the Great Spirit in his body became purer and thicker. Meanwhile, he had gotten a further understanding of the circulation rule and the reason for its existence. He even made great progress in Talisman Taoism.
He was able to realize that the key to breaking the inhibition and leaving the cliff cave was to work out this question from the Headmaster of the Academy. But he failed to find any clues and he had no idea how to combine the two auras with light and dust or how to make them vanish.
Ten days quickly pa.s.sed by. The Third Sister Yu Lian arrived at the cave. Her loose uniform was briskly blown like a flag while on the cliff, but was quiet as a piece of silk once inside the cave.
Ning Que greeted her briefly and, without wasting a minute, he took out the paper with his recently encountered questions and asked her for advice about the difficulties he was having during reading.
Yu Lian thought for a moment and started answering his questions. She answered briefly, perhaps even too briefly, but her answers always got to the point. Ning Que was inspired by these simple straightforward words and could easily see a new path out of the fog.
In the end, Ning Que stopped for a while and began asking about the Qi Refreshing method that was in the last part of the book.
Yu Lian frowned a little and remained silent.
Ning Que noticed that Sangsang was doing embroidery in the sunshine outside the cave and he thought that this was the reason for his Senior Sister not answering him.
Yu Lian smiled and said, "Our teacher won't mind if she listens because she is allowed to accompany you here. And the Qi sounds like a Devil's Doctrine skill, but no one would care since we're in the cave far away from people."
The next day, Chen Pipi climbed up to the cliff platform and was completely out of breath.
Ning Que teased him for a while. He was unhappy because Chen Pipi had not visited him for so many days.
Chen Pipi complained about the precipitous stone path and the high cliff, but he was not forgiven by Ning Que. He sighed and decided to leave Ning Que there. Then he started practicing the no-boundary spirit alone.
"The no-boundary spirit means that no clue could be found by the appearance, like a wild goose's footprints in the snow, no one is able to figure out where it is."
"When you want to move, then move without thinking. How could your enemy know what you intend to do?"
Chen Pipi raised his right arm and, with his ring finger slightly lifted up, he pointed at the sky above the cliff.
An invisible aura burst out from his finger and shot into the wall of the cliff cave, instead of following the direction in which the finger pointed.
That was the most compressed ultimate Qi of Heaven and Earth.
It flew over Ning Que's shoulder and shot against the hard wall of the cave. A small, round, dark hole appeared on that wall along with a whizzing sound.
No one knew how deep the hole was.